WE’RE BACK ON THE ATTACK

If a gang of anthropomorphic mutated turtles can master Kung-Fu on behalf of an overgrown, wise rat to overcome absurd odds then I can battle my sloth and procrastination to return this blog to it’s former glory.

 

First things first…. THE GOOD NEWS:

OK, so clearly I’m not dead. This blog, still a great source of pride and freedom of looney tunes rants for me, has seen it’s share of high’s and lows. I went through a period of dark times, but now am emerging physically healthier with clarity and ambition that I have not experienced since trying to find two girls to coerce into an orgy. Starting soon, me and a dear dear dear dear friend who is much cooler then you (deal with it) and whose name will not be disclosed will begin our own Podcast via this website. Talking points will be as follows:

  1. Our own personal thoughts/experiences in terms of life and day-to-day situations
  2. Gaming news/previews and reviews
  3. Exploring PC and PC gaming modification IE: Halo map and model editing, Crysis, Unity Engine programming, Quake mapping and QuakeC etc
  4. Marijuana reform state to state and the current trend of federal drug reform, with opinions on the ground via Colorado, NY and California
  5. Console gaming and the hastening of indie game popularity and digital game purchases and downloads a la STEAM/PSN
  6. Pirate Radio
  7. General news and current events etc.
  8. Talk and discussion of pop culture, movies (new and old) with recommendations of films you may want to watch
  9. Offer up helpful PC/MAC/Linux technical advice

That’s the synopsis of what to expect. Keep comin’ back to HiddenDefinition for air dates and more information when we inch closer to the broadcast. If you like this website, you will probably enjoy what we will be serving up on air. Here’s some other information/news that could be filed under awesome:

 

Steins;Gate has been released in the West by publisher JAST USA to critical acclaim

 

Released this spring in both digital and physical editions by JAST USA, S;G is a deeply original time-paradox story that focuses it's narrative on how to save the people you love after realizing the damaging effects of time travel

Released this spring in both digital and physical editions by JAST USA, S;G is a deeply original time-paradox story that focuses it’s narrative on how to save the people you love after realizing the damaging effects of time travel

 

Using a series of text messages, a group of young people learn they can affect the outcome of the past and future by sending their messages back to a pre-ordained time period. The visual novel has garnered critical acclaim in both the east and west. You can order the digital download or the physical limited edition via JAST USA’s website at: http://jastusa.com/blog/2014/04/02/steinsgate-is-available-now/

 

Summer Sci-Fi Thriller “Edge of Tomorrow” opens in theaters June 6th

 

The cover to Japanese manga "All You Need is Kill" to which "Edge of Tomorrow" is adapted from.

The cover to Japanese manga “All You Need is Kill” to which “Edge of Tomorrow” is adapted from.

The new “smart” sci-fi vehicle for Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt (sooooo hawt) opens this Friday and cinemas nationwide. Based on the Japanese manga “All You Need is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, it features a working stiff (Cruise’s character) thrust into warfare against alien organisms hellbent on world destruction. With no knowledge of combat or the advanced weaponry strapped to his body, the soldier quickly dies only to reawaken hours before deployment in a “Groundhog-Day from hell” scenario. The soldier repeatedly dies in as many horrifying ways as the directors, CGI-artists and producers could think of which is sure to entertain. It’s not until he meets a woman soldier (Emily Blunt) who is experiencing the same phenomenon of a perpetually repeating day that they band together and use these endless death-defying reboots to their advantage to gain every tactical and intellectual advantage against their assailants from the stars. So far, early reviews have pinned this as the first must see science fiction blockbuster of the summer so I myself am I eager to check it out and knowing the source material makes it even more enticing. Watch the latest trailer below:

 

 

The Last of Us “Remastered Edition” hits PlayStation 4 in August and what to expect from Sony at E3

 

The Last of Us REMASTERED contains super-duper AA along with much improved resolution, HD textures and a further draw distance among many other improved features

The Last of Us REMASTERED contains super-duper AA along with much improved resolution, HD textures and a further draw distance among many other sweet ass sweet features

So we all know that the PlayStation 4 is closing in or surpassed 8 million units sold by now. This is a big deal, because the Wii U has been out for over two years and has sold approximately just around 9 million units while the PS4 has been around for 6-8 months and smashed those figures to bits. Microsoft is being coy about what their system sales figures are, which is a good indicator that they haven’t come close to Sony’s figures. To stay competitive, they will need to consistently stay focused, especially with GameStop lowering the price of Xbox One bundles below $499. Microsoft has also not ruled out the possibility of shipping X1 units without their super-awesome stupid, dope with the fat ass rhymes Kinect 2.0. Kinect has clearly become so intricate to daily use of the X1 people surely won’t be able to survive without using the voice recognition to turn the X1 on/off and access Netflix while sitting on their toilet shouting commands across the room over their own flatulence. The only kink in the Sony plan for console domination is their lack of exclusive 1st-party games which has been synonymous with the PlayStation platform(s). We should get a nice taste at this years E3 which starts June 10th and goes to June 12, 2014. Sony typically has their presentation on the last day of festivities and here’s hoping they unveil some new first party games and maybe even a couple new IP’s. So far, we only know of The Order: 1886, DriveClub and a new Uncharted game for the PS4, with only DriveClub set to release this year (Oct. 7th). Which means there are several Sony-owned studios that have been lurking idly by in the shadows with no mention of their current projects. Media Molecule, Sony Bend, Studio Japan, Quantic Dream, Guerrilla Games, Team ICO, thatgamecompany, Insomniac Games (if they still have any exclusivity agreements for Ratchet and Clank or the Resistance franchises) etc. Back to Naughty Dog: To tide people over until the next big first-party release (Suckerpunch Studios just released Infamous: Second Son to mostly positive praise), Sony made what I deem a rather smart business move and had Naughty Dog do an in-house port of possibly the best last-gen exclusive for PS3 with updated graphics and all DLC included. Dubbed “The Last of Us: Remastered” edition, PS4 owners will finally get a chance to experience firsthand what us PS3 owners have been losing chunks of our free time over for the past year. This is a good move for both Sony and PS4 owners; it’s a first-party exclusive that anyone who owns a PS4 should get to play and Sony has 8 million units sitting in gamer’s homes with not much in the way of exclusive content. This summer, that all looks to change and it can’t come soon enough. These two console generation have been the most bizarre transition in my history of being a gamer. If you think so too or have something to add about how it sucks that developers seem stuck on continually developing for the lowest common denominator and then “pretty port” their game to current-gen, let us know on twitter at #weirdestconsoletransitionever

 

WatchDogs, Dark Souls II, Transistor and the PS3 is far from dead thanks to 3rd-party exclusives

 

Released for every conceivable platform (yes, even you Wii U) but so far has outsold on the PS4 and looks damn damn nice

WatchDogs, released for every conceivable platform (yes, even you Wii U) but so far has outsold on the PS4 and looks damn damn nice

 

The open-world sandbox hacking and 3rd person shooter, “WatchDogs” released by UbiSoft, where the world you live in can become your means of offense and defense has been selling like hotcakes. Originally scheduled to be released last year along with the new crop of consoles but delayed (obviously for the better), it has been that game everyone keeps talking about and saying how cool it is they hacked into a main streets defensive grid to cease the ingress of police cars chasing you down or how awesome it was they invaded another persons game and captured them for a bounty. The single player campaign is worth the price of admission alone, but the robust multiplayer mode makes WatchDogs absurdly fun. So far, the PS4 has been the de facto platform to experience WatchDogs on however if you own a beefy PC and can deal with the reportedly inconsistent online play, you can make it look reaaal purdy on a high-end computer if you don’t mind the dogged multiplayer for the PC.

Another new release just for the PS4 and PC that was developed by famed Bastion devs Supergiant Games comes “Transistor“.  A sidescrolling/isometric based action-RPG hybrid with a very deep fighting and action system featuring a pleasantly surprising original narrative with a whole city to explore and it’s denizens to talk to. The game plays great, looks great, sounds great (the soundtrack is supposed to be BADASS) and features the sassy, back-talking titular character “Transistor” sword that your character uses as her primary weapon which you acquire in the first act of the campaign. Check out the Launch trailer below:

 

 

Some of the biggest releases so far this year have been cross-gen or avoiding the whole generational gap to begin with, ie: Dark Souls II which was not released for X1/PS4. Those who know the “Souls” series will know of it’s punishing yet genuinely rewarding difficulty. Oldschool gamers will be reminded of the great sense of accomplishment after defeating a difficult foe or acquiring that uniquely obscure weapon/item in Dark Souls II. Although it’s a PS3/360/PC game, it still looks beautiful (especially the deadly but huge bosses you’ll encounter) and watching the sun ripple off the ocean in certain areas is breathtaking… not bad for being jacked into the restraints of 8 year-old consoles. The controls have been made much more intuitive and flow from battle to maneuvering much more flawlessly than it’s predecessors. DSII is also easier to get started with, with less emphasis on the minutia of character customization and allowing the player to jump right into selecting your character class and traits. Another great feature missing from prior iterations: Being able to save MUCH more frequently. In a game where turning your character to fast can spin him/her off a cliff to an untimely death at a crucial point during gameplay, the added frequent save points adds much needed balance to a game where death is literally at every corner and turn. Already receiving some nods as a potential Game of the Year, Dark Souls II is the quintessential difficult oldschool hack-n-slash where patience, skill, exploration and learning your enemies weaknesses without obvious bright colors lighting up the weak spots or NPC’s shouting where to shoot, making DSII a rare breed of game in today’s flooded market of FPS military twitch shooters, 3rd-person sci-fi action “horror” and traditional turn-based RPGs.

 

Released in March of 2014 by Namco-Bandai, Dark Souls II is the amalgamation of everything that has made the two previous entries awesome. All three games developed by From Software.

Released in March of 2014 by Namco-Bandai, Dark Souls II is the amalgamation of everything that has made the two previous entries awesome. All three games developed by From Software.

 

Other games that have been released exclusively for the PS3 since the beginning of 2014:

  • Drakengard 3 from Square Enix
  • Deception IV: Blood Ties from Tecmo Koei
  • Tales of Symphonia Chronicles from Namco Bandai
  • Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky from GUST
  • Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster from Square Enix
  • The Witch and the Hundred Knight from NIS America

Coming soon is Namco’s Tales of Xillia 2, one year after the first installment came to the West. The JRPG is slated to hit stores August 19th and if it’s as good as the first Xillia, I will be sure to pre-order the Collectors Edition which is currently going for $130. Included in the CE version are ” a figure of one of the new main characters, Ludger Kresnik, a replica pocket watch (it doesn’t run), a cat key chain, a CD of selected tracks, an art book, and alternative costume DLC of characters from past Tales game” (quote taken directly from DESTRUCTOID at http://www.destructoid.com/tales-of-xillia-2-coming-west-this-august-collector-s-edition-detailed-273589.phtml). If you are curious as to what this all amounts to here is a picture to give your brain visual stimulation:

 

Tales of Xillia 2 Collectors Edition includes everything pictured above. All you need is $130 and patience since the game doesn't drop until August 19th, or something.

Tales of Xillia 2 Collectors Edition includes everything pictured above. All you need is $130 and patience since the game doesn’t drop until August 19th, or something.

 

New system updates for PlayStation 4 that add new features and “system stability”

Latest OS update for PS4 is version  1.71 which is a cumulative update, picture above taken from the US Playstation Blog

Latest OS update for PS4 is version 1.71 which is a cumulative update, picture above taken from the US Playstation Blog

 

If you’re waiting for Sony’s engineering gurus to come around and add MP3/CD Audio/Video file or DLNA support to the PS4, be prepared to wait a little longer. While the new update(s) adds some much ballyhooed features,  basic functionality such as DivX, MP3 playback and UI customization are still inauspiciously MIA. New to version 1.70-1.71 are the ShareFactory video editor, new settings to dim the lightbar on the Dualshock 4 and now the capability to enable or disable HDCP (huge win for those of us who hate DRM). Those are some of the major improvements, for a complete list click on the following link for the official US Playstation Blog:

http://us.playstation.com/support/systemupdates/ps4/

 

And don’t forget to check out HiddenDefinition’s Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film preview for 2014

A month or two back I completed a rather comprehensive guide for science-fiction, fantasy and action/fantasy films that are scheduled to be released or have already released this year. It needs a little TLC, but it’s still pretty accurate plus it includes full synopsis and a few crass, sarcastic remarks about most of the movies premises from yours truly. If you are looking for what to expect out of 2014 for movies, look no further then HD’s Action, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film Preview. Check it out at here: https://hiddendefinition.wordpress.com/culture-movies-and-everything-else/sci-fi-movies-to-watch-out-for-in-2014/

 

And now …. THE BAD NEWS:

 

Frowny-Face-632x474

It hasn’t been all blue skies and sunshine. While there has been a lot of good things happening (see above, captain obvious) there has also been turmoil at the usually insulated Sony first party studios. Naughty Dog had some kind of falling out with Head Writer for the Uncharted series Amy Hennig, as well as losing a few other key members that were imperative in the creation of Uncharted and The Last of Us. Evolution Studios, responsible for the oft-delayed first-party PS4 exclusive Drive Club has also lost it’s Director and Sony Santa Monica had an unknown project in development cancelled. Also, while this occurred several months a go, Studio Liverpool, responsible for the awesome sci-fi racer WipeOut had it’s doors shut by Sony. While game studios putting up the “out of business” sign is nothing new, the frequency at which Sony is cleaning house and the questionable nature of these high-profile departures has left me wondering what the hell is going on within these AAA developers.

 

Irrational Studios closes it’s doors for Good. Director Ken Levine desires to focus on independent, more narrative-driven digital games

 

Boston developer Irrational Games has shuttered it's doors for good on the heels of Bioshock Infinite's final DLC release "Burial at Sea Pt II"

Boston developer Irrational Games has shuttered it’s doors for good on the heels of Bioshock Infinite’s final DLC release “Burial at Sea Pt II”

 

Probably one of the most gut-wrenching studio closings in quite some time, Founder and Director Ken Levine has decided to shut down Irrational Games located in Boston, MA. Not for lack of creative ideas or studio funding, this decision was made completely at the behest of Levine and a few other key members. In a official statement made available to the press, Levine says:

“To meet the challenge ahead, I need to refocus my energy on a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers. In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: A small team making games for the core gaming audience”

Since publisher Take-Two and 2K Studios actually own the Bioshock franchise, this certainly does not mean we won’t see anymore Bioshock games, they just won’t be developed by the founding studio Irrational. The last official release by Irrational was the DLC for Bioshock Infinite “Burial at Sea Pt. II“, which received much due adulation for allowing players to play as protagonist Elizabeth and use her tear abilities to take on a more stealth-like approach to rediscovering Rapture. R.I.P. Irrational, you will truly be missed.

 

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PlayStation Now Unveiled at CES, PS4 Firmware Update v1.60 released, Native PlayStation 1+2 Emulation rumors swirling admist new PS4 firmware updates, “The Last of Us” Single-Player DLC “Left Behind” officially gone gold and oodles of schmoodles info on new game releases [UPDATED 2/15/2014]

PlayStation Now officially unveiled at CES 2014, coming to your local PlayStation H/W in Summer of 2014

 

PlayStation Now Gaikai-based streaming service being revealed at CES 2014

PlayStation Now Gaikai-based streaming service being revealed at Sony’s keynote address during CES 2014

 

Sony promised PS3 backwards compatibility for the PS4 via it’s cloud based-streaming service, Gaikai (acquired by Sony in 2012 for a cool $380 million) and it appears to be finally taking shape. Announced on January 7th at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, Sony demoed the “PlayStation Now” internet-streaming service on a variety of Sony hardware (which in the future may negate the need for proprietary hardware, ie the PlayStation 4 console, to enjoy and play Sony exclusive titles). Amongst the veritable goldmine of broad Sony exclusives shown running on PlayStation Now, CES goers were treated to streaming versions of 1st-party hits such as “The Last of Us“, “Puppeteer“, “God of War: Ascension” and “Beyond: Two Souls“; all graphically-intense titles that have been released over the past year and a half. The games were playable on PlayStation Vita’s and more interestingly, 2014 Bravia TV’s, and a select few smartphones/tablets using just a DualShock 3 Controller and a connection to the PlayStation Now service. Sony has stated that the service will allow it’s subscribers (yes, it is a paid-for service although at this point I don’t know if it’s part of the PS Plus subscription package or a separate entity) to play PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 classics along with strong support of Sony’s PS3 exclusives. This could be a boon for Sony, as they have an absurdly deep back catalog for both the PS1 and PS2 (the latter selling over 150 million units worldwide making it the best selling console ever) allowing the Sony faithful and even more imperative, gamers new to the extensive retro titles of the PS One and PS2, to enjoy hard-to-find titles that until now, were confined and orphaned on physical disc to specialty game shops. I’ve always been one to enjoy the tangible vs. the digitally intangible software but with classic and hard to find PS1/2 game prices skyrocketing, even I admit this is a fantastic alternative to play all my old Sony favorites akin to Nintendo’s Virtual Console on the Wii and Wii U (WipeOut XL, Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy 7/8/Tactics, Tactics Ogre, Clock Tower, Einhander, Elemental Gearbolt, Shadow Tower, Kings Field I/II, Silent Hill, Megan Man Legends, Suikoden, Xenogears, RayStorm, Resident Evil 1/2/3 etc etc.)

PlayStation Now has begun closed-beta testing as of Jan 28th, and the service is expected to expand across several western and eastern markets as soon as the second and third quarter of 2014, with a full roll out to be completed by end of the year. For optimal performance with minimal gameplay and visual sacrifice, Sony recommends that you are using an wired internet connection with at least 5 MBps or more when gaming on PlayStation Now. A YouTube video was released just recently that showed a complete demonstration of PlayStation Now’s UI and streaming potential while the person played Killzone 3, unfortunately the video has since been taken down due to “copyright violations” by SCEA. The leaked video shows that PS Now is booted from the PSN tab on the XMB, then opens a new app resembling the PlayStation Store to begin the streaming service. Sony also says that in the near future, PlayStation 4 titles are in the works to be streamed across the service. This is certainly a great way for Sony to expand the PlayStation brand for consumers who may not be interested in dropping $300-$400 on new hardware and tap into the lucrative “casual gamer” market that the Wii captured back in 2007 and lost to the current trend of smartphones and tablets. If Sony can reclaim that audience, it certainly could be a dominating force in the casual gaming and console market. To watch the CES preview of the PlayStation Now service, watch the video below to catch a glimpse of the UI and the potential of the PS3 streaming service (video courtesy of Quentyn Kennemer via http://phandroid.com/2014/01/14/sony-playstation-now-demo/):

 

PlayStation 4 gets fancy-schmancy new update, version 1.60 which offers much-needed improved headset support amongst other stability fixes and enhancements

The new official Sony "Pulse" Gold headset works on the PS4 and supports 7.1 virtual surround sound - SWEET ASS SWEET!

The new official Sony “Pulse” Gold headset works on the PS4 and supports 7.1 virtual surround sound – SWEET ASS SWEET!

 

As of Feb 4th, Sony has officially released v1.60 firmware update for the PlayStation 4. One of the PS4’s many new improvements is that it automatically connects to Sony’s servers, then downloads and installs the update in the background while the system is in standby mode. Or you can do it the old fashioned the way and download the firmware update from Sony’s official website to a USB Flash drive and do a local installation. Reportedly, the update weighs in around 300 MB. Here are a list of the new features, fixes and improvements:

  1. Wireless stereo headsets (CECHYA-0080 / CECHYA-0083 / CECHYA-0086) and a stereo headset (CECHYA-0088) are now supported.
  2. You can now mute the microphone for PlayStation®Camera.

Also included in this update are general stability fixes. But the added support for Sony’s premium headsets is a definitive BONUS! For more information or to download the firmware update and install it to your PS4, head over to Sony’s official PlayStation Support Page at http://us.playstation.com/support/systemupdates/ps4/index.htm.

Native PS2 and PS1 Emulation rumored to be coming to PlayStation 4 via future firmware update

 

 

Sony reigned supreme with the release of the PS2. Selling over 150 consoles worldwide, the PlayStation 2 dominated the 6th generation of gaming systems.

Sony reigned supreme with the release of the PS2. Selling over 150 consoles worldwide, the PlayStation 2 dominated the 6th generation of gaming systems.

Yeah so this is a big deal to me and anyone else who grew up during the 80’s and 90’s, with their ‘rents buying us NES’s or SEGA Genesis’s. We are the first group of gamers to grow older as each iterative console cycle manifested, and therefore we are the first to see the myriad of gaming systems released over the past 25+ years. As such, I feel some kind of ownership towards the current and past gaming ecosystems, with every new generation establishing a solid hierarchy.  In the case of PlayStation, I remember trading my SNES and my 40+ games into EB Games (before GameStop took over EVERYTHING) just to acquire a brand new PlayStation One with Destruction Derby, Resident Evil, Warhawk and WipeOut (franchises that are still prominent today). So the fact that Sony is now rumored to be working on a future update for the PS4 that will allow for native PS1 and PS2 backwards compatibility truly means a great deal to me. If this does come to fruition, it would make the PlayStation 4 the ultimate console in Sony hardware and amongst it’s contemporaries, being able to play PS One, PS2 and thanks to PlayStation Now, PS3 games.

A console that is fully backwards compatible would be an amazing feat, as it seems that most (not all) console manufacturers have remained adamant that deterrent factors such as cost or incompatible hardware is the reason for non-compliance. But with such a ridiculous back catalog of games for both the PS1 and PS2, it would seem almost absurd and shameful that Sony would not take advantage of such a opportunity via emulation if their current PS4 H/W allows it (and it seems more then powerful enough to do so). I still have a small library of PS One games, most of them rarities that I’ve managed to hold onto over the years because well…. their just not that easy to find anymore and aren’t available digitally via PSN yet. Sony has everything to gain and nothing to lose by providing PS One/PS2 emulation natively (whether it be via original disc or download; hopefully we get BOTH) since their are still sooo many titles that have yet to been repackaged from both the PS One and PS2 era. PS4 Backwards-compatible emulation would also allow HD upscaling in a less arbitrary nature that was implemented for the PlayStation 3, presenting an aesthetically pleasing experience while maintaining that great classic gameplay we’ve all come to expect from Sony’s top tier exclusives from the bygone console eras. While all this is just pure speculation, Digital Foundry did have a very interesting and competent report on what could be via future firmware updates regarding PS1/PS2 software emulation.

Hopefully, like the early models of the PS3 that Sony manufactured that actually contained the original PlayStation 2 hardware under the hood, Sony will allow playback of physical discs that people already have in their PS One and PS2 collections. And while Sony eventually removed the PS2 backwards compatibility from those earlier models since each PS3 unit was selling at a tremendous loss, it in fact probably saved the PlayStation brand that is now beginning to thrive again today. Sony has advocated a good amount of pro-consumer idealism thanks to their E3 presentation by simply branding the PlayStation 4 as a true gamers console- no extra fanfare, no forced flagrant takeover of your TV set and unwarranted motion-tracking; Sony was pitching the PS4 as a fundamental gamers machine, not an extravagant all-in-one box that was designed to be the centerpiece of your living room. And while some may prefer the latter, core gamers care about one thing and one thing only: how well does the machine play games and will it provide the gaming experience that a Sony console should offer? The answer is a resounding yes, as the PS4 has already sold well over 4 million units in just a short span of 3 months. It’s clear that Sony is focusing it’s efforts to attract the legions of ardent Sony fans while reaching for a larger audience. In short, Sony knows it’s user base and if these backward compatibility rumors prove true, is doing everything it can to retain previous PlayStation users and attract new gamers that want to do want a console does best: play videogames.

 

PlayStation emulators have been commonplace on PC's for years, but Sony *MAY BE* taking a page out of these software emulators to run PS1 and PS2 titles natively on the PS4. ePSXe is one of the more popular PS emulators for the computer.

PlayStation emulators have been commonplace on PC’s for years, but Sony *MAY BE* taking a page out of these software emulators to run PS1 and PS2 titles natively on the PS4. ePSXe is one of the more popular PS emulators for the computer.

While PS3 compatibility will be relegated to Sony’s cloud-based streaming service PlayStation Now, previous generations of Sony H/w (PS1 and PS2 respectively) will be played via software emulation on the PlayStation 4. Even more interesting is that games played via emulation could contain HD upscaling and higher resolutions, something that is already possible on a mid-end PC running a PlayStation emulator such as ePSXe which can significantly alter the graphical fidelity of older PlayStation 1 and 2 titles. Using software emulation on the PS4, Sony may be implementing native HD resolutions instead of the blurry, artifact filled upscaled resolutions that the PlayStation 3 used when it runs PS One software or PS2 games (on earlier “fat” models of the PS3 that contained PS2 emulation via direct hardware or through software on later fat models). Again, while this is all speculation and rumors at this time, I sincerely hope Sony is hard at work on this project.

 

The Last of Us single-player DLC “Left Behind” released, download it now via the PlayStation Network Store

 

Ellie and her BFF Riley's story is told through this 3 hour campaign about how it sucks being a mischievous teenager in a post-pandemic North America.

Ellie and her BFF Riley’s story is told through this 3 hour DLC campaign about how it sucks being a mischievous teenager in a post-pandemic North America.

 

Probably the most anticipated downloadable content aside from Bioshock Infinte’s “Burial at Sea”, The Last of Us jas dished out a mini-prequel of sorts establishing Ellie’s backstory before she met crazy-like-a-fox Joel. The DLC chapter, entitled “Left Behind”, has been in development for quite some time and was officially released on the loneliest day of the year for fat, unkempty gamer-nerds the world over; AKA: Valentines DayPerhaps there was some amorous intent for releasing the 2-3 hour campaign on V-Day, reminding all of us dateless wonders that we still do have something to live for outside the mystique of the opposite gender. That our empathy can be redirected towards Ellie after enduring the grueling and abhorrent cross-country cordecyps road trip with her paternal ward, Joel. After all, The Last of Us intricately wove one of the most well-defined and tragic survivalist tales to grace the console market in a long, long time. True to form, instead of focusing on new gameplay elements, more updates/weapons and new skill-trees, Left Behind takes the player on Ellie’s own journey beginning with her time orphaned at a military-style school. Left Behind introduces a new character that was only mentioned briefly in passing during the main campaign: Ellie’s best friend Riley. If you played through the main campaign and enjoyed it, you would be a silly, inbred smelly fool not to purchase and playthru Left Behind. Now available via the PlayStation Store on PSN  for $15 or through the TLoU Season Pass (or eventually via the yet-to-be-announced retail GOTY edition on disc; wait and see I’m sure it will be hitting store shelves by the end of the year like every bestselling PS3 exclusive). To watch the Left Behind trailer, play the video below:


“Tales of Zestiria” announced by Namco for worldwide release on PS3, The Walking Dead Season 2 “Ep 1 – All That Remains” to be released soon and New PS4 Firmware availabe for update

Next core installment in the “Tales” franchise announced by Namco Bandai for global release: “Tales of Zestiria”

 

 

Official announcement logo for Namco's newest "Tales Of.." title

Official announcement logo for Namco’s newest “Tales Of..” title

 

 

It’s official, Namco Bandai has unleashed what will start the hype machine for the next Tales RPG game, titled “Tales of Zestiria” being released exclusively for the PS3. This announcement is significant in that it marks the first time a “Tales Of..”  title has been simultaneously announced for release in both the East and the Wast. While no official release date has been made available to coincide with the press release, I can only assume that with Tales of Symphonia HD and Tales of Xillia 2 coming to NA in 2014, I can theorize that this new title will be available by sometime in 2015. This is the next main installment in the series and it’s announcement and eventual release will commemorates the 20th anniversary for the Tales Of.. franchise which will occur in 2015. Here is a direct quote from Hideo Baba, producer of the Tales series via a press release:

“Over the past few years the Tales Of team has taken great strides to strengthen our relationship with players across North America and Europe, To respond to their love and support I am honored to open a new chapter of the Tales Of series together with Japanese and overseas fans.”

Tales of Zestiria is being developed exclusively for the PS3 and will be released in Japan with a western localization to follow soon after.

 

 

The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 1 “All That Remains” to be released soon

 

TellTale Game’s hit episodic series based on the comic of the same name, “The Walking Dead”, has a new trailer to accompany the imminent release of the first episode of Season 2 entitled “All That Remains”. Season 2 picks up where Season 1 left off, and puts the player in control of everyone’s favorite little post-apocalyptic zombie survivor, Clementine. This should definitely be interesting, as most players found themselves being very protective over little Clementine, trying to retain some of her child-like innocence from a world overrun by zombies and without any trace of humanity and civilization. Now playing as her, how will players navigate and brave the harsh reality she now must face on her own? “All That Remains” will be released digitally for PlayStation 3, XBox 360, PC and iOS. Check out the trailer below:

 

Sony officially releases Firmware Update v1.52 for PlayStation 4

Sony has officially released a new firmware update for it’s newest console, the PlayStation 4. Firmware revision 1.52 became available December 11th and while no new features have been added to the OS or UI,  it seems several reports have surfaced that some features of the PS4’s sharing capabilities have had reduced loading/downloading/uploading times. Sony maintains this is purely a “stability and security” update, but if you have noticed any reduced lag in the performance of your PS4’s OS or sharing features, please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

 

 

Atlus announces new Persona titles incl. Persona 5, New Tales of Xillia 2 NA trailer, Shiny Days Visual Novel coming to the West and School Days HQ review posted

Four new Persona titles announced, including the next main installment in the franchise: Persona 5 exclusively for PS3

I ❤ Atlus. They are by far my favorite publisher, outside of Sony. They are a small bunch, but they localize some of the best titles from Japan for the west. This generation alone they have brought a new installment in the SMT series for the 3DS as well as Persona 4 Golden (PS Vita), Demon Souls (PS3), Dragon’s Crown (PS3), Catherine and their recently released 2D Anime arcade fighter for the PS3 AquaPazza. The Persona franchise has gained a huge following thanks to it’s mix of modern Japanese influenced locales and catchy J-pop techno, diverse characters and unique social link system.  If you have yet to try any of the titles I would recommend starting with Persona 3 FES, Persona 3 Portable or P4Golden.

So with the flurry of new Persona announcements, the one that gets my blood boiling the most is the next installment in the core franchise, aptly entitled Persona 5. Not much as known, although Atlus Japan released a teaser trailer which you can check out below. Persona 5 will keep the high school social theme, with each main character experiencing their own personal real-life problems along with the dark world of fighting demons/shadows/whatever. P5 will come exclusively to the PS3 in Winter of 2014, so with any hope Atlus will release it in the West soon after.

 

 

Also announced was a Persona rhythm/dance game for the Vita, a new Persona fighting game for PS3 and the first installment of the Persona franchise on the 3DS, titled Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth.  Here’s the teaser trailer for Persona Q (courtesy of Up All Night Gaming):

 

 

Winter 2014 can’t come soon enough. <3333 Persona

 

Tales of Xillia 2 NA “Pocketwatch” Trailer released by Namco Bandai

The “Tales Of” series is a well regarded RPG institution, right along with the Final Fantasy franchise. Namco Bandai has been busy busy, with Tales of Xillia released this year to critical acclaim and now the sequel, which was announced for US release recently has a teaser trailer which looks quite intriguing. Tales of Xillia 2 is scheduled to be released sometime in 2014 exclusively for the PS3. Namco has also recently launched a teaser site for a brand new installment of “Tales” coming to PS3 or PS4 . Nothing is known about this mystery Tales title yet as the website is mostly a tribute to previous PSOne Tales installations. Check out the website by clicking on the link below:

http://next.tales-ch.jp/

 

To tide you over, here is the official “Pocketwatch” trailer for Xillia 2:

 

JAST USA bringing Shiny Days Visual Novel to the west and School Days HQ reviewed

 

Originally released in 2012, PC Publisher JAST USA has a extensive catalog of localized VN's for sale. In cooperation with the Sekai Project and Shiny Days developer 0verflow, JAST will hopefully be announcing a release date soon.

Originally released in 2012, “Shiny Days” is a successive off shoot follow-up to the “School Days” VN. PC Publisher JAST USA has a extensive catalog of localized VN’s for sale, including the English collectors edition for School Days HQ. In cooperation with the Sekai Project and Shiny Days developer Overflow, JAST will hopefully be announcing a release date for the latest “Days” installment soon.

You may as well file this under awesome obscurity, since most console gamers will have no idea what a Visual Novel is unless you live or are from Japan. The quickest way to define a VN game is a point-and-click type of adventure presented through beautifully drawn computer-imagery, typically using still pictures and anime to tell a non-linear story. A VN may begin as a passive experience to setup the story, but eventually you will be faced with a bevy of choices to select from that branches the story into many different outcomes. Just like console games, VN’s fall into different genres, such as Dating-sims, Romance, Fantasy RPGS, Adventure, Comedic and Science-fiction. While technically most VN’s are presented the same, the substance varies greatly from genre to genre. Dating and Romance VN’s have a penchant for containing graphic sexual scenes, and these Visual Novels fall into their own category dubbed “eroge” (a Japanese novel consisting of erotic imagery and gaemeplay). While some games contain nothing but hyper-sexual scantily-clad anime girls with amorous feelings towards the protagonist (AKA you the player), others are more tender and involve romantic pursuits. Shiny Days and School Days HQ are the latter, games where your choice creates your own story about high school love and while they do contain sexual imagery, most of it is not gratuitous and used to enhance the context of the story that you choose.

Shiny Days is a quasi-sequel to the original School Days, featuring old and new cast members. I was ecstatic to learn that JAST USA is publishing the game in the west because I fell in love with the School Days universe after my first playthru. Subsequent playthru’s followed and I am now more enamored with the “Days” universe and it’s diverse cast of characters. While no official release date has been announced for the English PC port, I hope that Shiny Days will find it’s way to my desktop within the next 2 years. Until then, check out my review of  “School Days HQ” from the following link (or by clicking on School Days under the Reviews tab):

https://hiddendefinition.wordpress.com/about/school-days-hq-review-pc/

And for the uninitiated, head over to JAST USA website to check out their catalog of various Visual Novels, including a nice physical collectors edition of School Days HQ:

http://www.jastusa.com

 

 

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One officially here, The Last of Us Single-Player DLC Announced, Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea DLC pt. 1 released and ex-Game Informer Editor Meagan Marie makes a good impression as a Cosplayer

Check out my PlayStation 4 Launch Experience with “PS4: Gamer on the Ground” Article

Unless you live under a sand dune on Mars or you have that Helen Keller disease, you probably are aware that Sony and Microsoft have both launched their next-gen consoles on Nov 15th (PS4) and Nov 22nd (Xbox One), respectively. Being a gamer requires that you also understand the finer things in life, like how to talk away that mustard stain on your hoodie as canvas paint or know how to camp out and prepare yourself for a midnight system launch. It’s been nearly seven years for Sony and over eight years for Microsoft, so to say these console launches aren’t as exciting as before is underwhelming. Attending the midnight launch of the PlayStation 4 at my local GameStop, there was so much excitement people could hardly contain themselves as we discussed past launches, the games we loved and why I was the only person at the launch who wasn’t actually buying a system (the latter fact is irrelevant guys, BECAUSE I SAY SO). I tried innumerably to convince my fellow gamers to all pool in their funds and buy me a console, but my desperation only compounded matters for the worse and did me no favorable service. My associate who worked at GameStop told me that I had ZERO chance to obtain a unit without first pre-ordering months a go, so I cried and screamed and begged like a child having a temper tantrum, only to be forcefully removed from the premises. “Act your age” everyone said…. “Nobody wants to see a big, fat almost-30 year old man child writhing on the floor in tears” they said… WELL SCREW YOU GUYS!  OK, so maybe I embellished some of the above statements, and I didn’t actually get kicked out… I left of my own accord with dignity. I did return however with a bag full of chocolate because everyone knows gamers can’t resist big bags of snacks…. and was thus welcomed back to the launch party swiftly. “Chocolates for all” I declared! So as the night went on I snapped a few photos when I could and returned during the evening to my local Best Buy with my entourage in tow to play the PS4 demo kiosk and get some intimate, hands-on time with the console myself. Here’s what happened when trying to play first-party launch exclusive “KNACK”:

 

Unfortunately, we were shutdown and ejected by the evil Best Buy Dragon Queen because the legality of filming violates their PR policies. I couldn’t buy a PS4, I don’t know anyone that owns a unit who will let me rebox and unbox to have my own cool unboxing video then play it for hours while they sit and watch (apparently the only person I do know that owned one wanted to play it all for themselves launch day, go figure) so I did the next best thing:  going to a business that owned one with my film crew and using their free generosity to mooch gaming playtime and record it. Can a broke, ambivalent man-child gamer really be blamed for such gratuitous behavior? For my complete “PS4: Gamer on the Ground” article, click on the following link or click on the tab of the same name under the Editorials tab:

https://hiddendefinition.wordpress.com/editorials-essays-and-gamer-girls-just-a-myth-or-do-they-exist/playstation-4-launch-gamer-on-the-ground/

 

The Last of Us Single Player DLC “Left Behind” announced, Ellie a returning character

I have advocated every chance that has come to pass for TLoU to be a Game of the Year frontrunner and with this next DLC pack, scheduled to be released early 2014 my contention only grows stronger. Naughty Dog has confirmed the single-player story DLC for “The Last of Us” will indeed see the return of Ellie as a playable character and in fact, be a prequel to the core games story. It will also introduce the character of Riley, one of Ellie’s best and only friends at the military orphanage where she was being schooled. If you’ve read the Dark House 4-part comic series “American Dreams” then you should have some idea of what to expect, although the DLC is not an exact recreation from the comics story and appears to take place after the events from the last comic and in-between the beginning of the main game. I implore you guys to read “American Dreams” because not only does it offer a great precursor to Ellie’s backstory, but it also serves as a companion piece to the game’s main narrative. Here’s the teaser trailer for the DLC, entitled “Left Behind“:

 

Bioshock: Infinite “Burial at Sea” pt. 1 released

Return to Rapture before it's downfall and see it as in the utopia Andrew Ryan envisioned. Liz seeks out Bookers help as a Private Investigator in "Burial at Sea".

Return to Rapture before it’s downfall and see it as in the utopia Andrew Ryan envisioned. Liz seeks out Bookers help as a Private Investigator in “Burial at Sea”.

The first part of a duo DLC single-player pack for Bioshock: Infinite was released on November 12th for a MSRP of $14.99, or if you have the Season Pass then it’s available digitally as a download now for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. “Burial at Sea” is a two-part adventure that returns the player to Rapture in it’s glory days before plasmids corrupted the loyal denizens into Splicers and all hell broke loose.  Featuring some new weapons and a whole new story, you’ll play as private investigator Booker DeWitt hired by very more adult, demure persona of Elizabeth in the first part then take over and play as Elizabeth in the second part.

I was really disappointed with the story direction featured in Bioshock: Infinite’s single-player two part DLC “Burial at Sea” and although the concept and the return of Liz and Booker are certainly welcome, it seems so much more could’ve been explored within Infinite’s universe instead of returning to a glorified Rapture. Probably the most intriguing, albeit silent protagonist in a game this year was Infinite’s “Songbird“, the giant mechanical fowl that served as Elizabeth’s frightening ward in the main campaign. For all the lip-service Irrational paid to it’s newest terrifying creation (the collectors edition featured a 12-14” statue of the character and was aptly dubbed “Ultimate Songbird Edition“), Songbird was hardly featured in the core game and ultimately relegated to a minor supporting role. It seems their was so much back story for this character and situational set pieces that could’ve been crafted within a DLC campaign to give Songbird a more involved role. Am I the only one that feels this way? Comment below and speak your mind about what your ideal DLC scenario for Bioshock Infinite would’ve been.

 

Cosplayer Meagan Marie strikes a pose and brings her characters to life

Recently featured on Kotaku’s Fancy Pants (http://kotaku.com/5876329/the-very-best-of-meagan-maries-cosplay/), I knew she looked familiar. Sure enough, flipping through some of my past print editions of “Game Informer” I saw Meagan’s picture appear several times co-mingling with other GI editors, game developers and game industry folks. Not only is she a hell of a writer, but she can cosplay with the best of them. Take a look for your self:

Meagan-Marie_as_Anya-large

Meagan portraying Anya from Gears of War, one of the few female gears that could take down herds of the locust with the boys

 

Meagan as Marie Antoinette, the ill-fated last queen of France and dare I say, one of the original "it-girls" before there even was a Hollywood.

Meagan as Marie Antoinette, the ill-fated last queen of France and dare I say, one of the original “it-girls” before there even was a Hollywood.

If you want to see more of Meagan’s tireless effort to recreate our favorite fictional and non-fictional characters, then go to her website and admire her skill as only us gross, girlfriend-less gamers could; by showering her with lots of praise and stalking her. Just kidding Meagan, all my subjective comments come from a place of gamer love

Meagan Marie’s WordPress Blog:

http://www.meagan-marie.com/

P.S.  You’ve cosplayed titular gaming characters, historical and mythical figures and even sci-fi badasses. But their seems to be one missing from your resume that happens to be my all time favorite gaming character: Samus Aran. Yes, I know it’s been done but there are so many different ways to approach her. A strong female lead when console gaming was still in it’s infancy and female heroines were uncommon, most women in games were relegated to the “damsel in distress” cliches. Her revelation came as a pleasant surprise to most gamers who played through the original Metroid and were expecting anything but. One of the original Nintendo stalwart characters, Samus has always been my favorite and if Nintendo would release a new Metroid game where she resumes the role of the silent, lone-wolf character (no more talking please, Samus spoke enough in “Other M” to last the next three generations of Metroid games), I would instantly go out and buy a Nintendo console just to play it. Just a thought, or rant. Whatever.

 

SAMUSARAN-spacesuit

 samus_aran_down_after_fight_w_motherbrain

 

metroid_samus_aran_desktop_1024x768_free-wallpaper-38500

HiddenDefinition turns one year old, PS4 launch title Driveclub delayed until 2014, Official PS4 FAQ posted by Sony on their blog and next-gen AAA title Titanfall will NEVER come to PS4

HiddenDefinition’s One Year Anniversary!

HAPPY BIRFDAY TO US

HAPPY BIRFDAY TO US

If you had told me this site would’ve survived beyond a year, gained a cult following of a mind-blowing six people (hey, it’s a small cult and everybody knows cults are almost always more effective with a limited resume of cryptic followers, just look at the Manson family) and rocked the online gaming community to it’s core I would’ve scoffed in your face and possibly spit on you (OK, the last point is clearly a lie). But here we are, a year later and HD is still going lukewarm strong. To commemorate this insignificant landmark that surely noone will recognize I ripped off a funny pic courtesy of IMGUR. Thanks to whoever thoughtfully took the precious time to create the above craft and post it, if you feel you deserve more credit please comment on this post and I’ll text you dickpics. Just kidding, they’ll be nip pics, I do have some shame. So, let’s do a little dance, sing a little song and drown this forgettable occasion in a plethora of news! ON WITH THE NEWS!!

Sony confirms that PS4 launch title DriveClub is delayed until early 2014

UK based Evolution studios PS4 racer "DriveClub" will not be available day one, or even this year for that matter (screenshot taken from in-game)

UK based Evolution studios PS4 racer “DriveClub” will not be available day one, or even this year for that matter (screenshot taken from in-game)

This is the second big launch loss for Sony, as Ubisoft announced earlier that their new IP for next-gen and current-gen consoles Watch Dogs was also delayed until 2014. DriveClub is a team-based racing sim that…. well we don’t know too much about it yet but from the above image it certainly looks very pretty. It’s too bad, since Microsoft will have Forza which also admittedly looks awesome and will be available during the Xbox One launch. As I’ve stated multiple times on this site and I will now reiterate, anytime a game is delayed it’s typically for the greater good. Nobody wants a glitchy, cobbled-together mess pushed out the door just to make a release date because then nobody wins. So while in the short term it’s definitely a blow to Sony’s already iffy first-party launch lineup, in the long term will be better for it. DriveClub was also supposed to come free with PlayStation Plus membership for those who signed up after the PS4 launched, obviously offering incentive to pay for Sony’s lucrative premium online service. In it’s stead, Sony is now offering the moody platformer “Contrast” as the free replacement digital game download which is still a bargain. While Contrast may not contain the same broad appeal as an arcade/driving simulator for early adopters, from all reports Contrast is a game that is beautifully crafted and offers a twist on the platform genre. Also, there is a little title called Gran Turismo 6 which is going to be released in December for the PS3, so I’m sure all you racing fans can manage. Either way, Sony has you covered. If you’ve yet to see Contrast in action, here’s a the trailer as a refresher:

Sony clarifies what the PS4 can and cannot do during it’s infancy with the official PlayStation 4 FAQ

Sony has released a 30-something page FAQ that covers everything A-Z with it’s newest console. If you have any unanswered questions regarding the next-gen behemoth that haven’t properly been answered outside the realm of speculation, you can find out whatever it is you need to know with official confirmation on Sony’s US Blog. Notable points of interest include the system will not play audio CD’s or MP3’s, which is kind of a bummer but Sony has insisted that it has listened to our shrieks of discontent and says that these issues may be remedied in future firmware updates. Also worthy of mention (which I posted in a news article back several weeks a go) is that the PS4 does not currently support bluetooth headsets. While the PS4 will include it’s own headset bundled, this is certainly puzzling as many gamers have pricey bluetooth sets of high-quality and it seems that for a next-gen console bluetooth would be an obvious mandatory inclusion. Hopefully after Sony works out whatever they need to after the console launches, will get some kind of update that doesn’t render our expensive bluetooth headsets as just relics for the aging PS3. For the full FAQ, click on the link below:

http://blog.us.playstation.com/2013/10/30/ps4-the-ultimate-faq-north-america/

EA confirms that developer Respawn’s next-gen blockbuster “Titanfall” is a Microsoft exclusive

Probably one of the biggest 3rd-party exclusive titles coming next-gen will never be making the rounds to Sony PlayStation, EVER. Electronic Arts confirmed recently that the Respawn-developed title will be an Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC/Windows exclusive for it’s lifetime. Many folks believed (as did I) that “Titanfall” was a timed exclusive, meaning the title would be available only for Microsoft gaming platforms for a period of 4-6 months before their licensing period expired and then it could be ported to the PS4, however that’s just not the case. Respawn took to the web to clarify this was a surprise as much to them as it was to those purchasing a PS4 over Xbox One, stating this was clearly a decision that came from the publishing giant EA and not them. Certainly disappointing, however many Sony first-party studios have yet to even announce their own projects so I’m quite sure that the Sony faithful will be rewarded in time with a variety of kick ass exclusives. Naughty Dog, Media Molecule and Quantic Dream have all yet to show off or announce any next-gen titles (Sorry, but “The Dark Sorcerer” doesn’t count). This is what happens when you throw a crap load of money at a publisher and say “See that game one of you’re studios is developing, it’s ONLY coming to our platforms”. The good news is if you own a PC, Titanfall is still very playable as long as your system is up to spec. I don’t blame Microsoft for locking this game up, if it weren’t for exclusives then owning a Sony or Microsoft branded console would be utterly pointless. Gamers buy dedicated gaming consoles for the exclusive games that only they can offer. Otherwise, there would be no point as every title would be multi-platform, which in turn would lead to almost no competition and ultimately drive up price, or just kill of the console market all-together. This is why Nintendo will NEVER allow any of their stalwart first-party games and characters to touch another console manufacturer. Oh and by the way, if you’re looking for a bargain this holiday season and want a new console but don’t have the scratch to invest in the PS4 or Xbox One, may I recommend another viable option: Nintendo has released a special “mini” version of the Wii (aptly named the Wii Mini) which is bundled with Mario Kart 8 for $99. Nintendo doing what they do best, manufacturing and selling a game machine that just plays games, no more, no less. What more could you ask for?

The Wii Mini comes to retail Nov 17th. and includes a copy of Mario Kart Wii. On the negative side, unlike it's bigger brother the mini does not include S-video or SD card support, so you'll have to make do with standard composite A/V cables. However, the Wii was never an HD console to begin with so I don't see this as too big of a deal. Also, it lacks internet support so you won't be able to access the virtual console but again without an SD slot to save your downloads, this doesn't really matter anyways.

The Wii Mini comes to retail Nov 17th. and includes a copy of Mario Kart Wii. On the negative side, unlike it’s bigger brother the mini does not include S-video or SD card support, so you’ll have to make do with standard composite A/V cables. However, the Wii was never an HD console to begin with so I don’t see this as too big of a deal. Also, it lacks internet support so you won’t be able to access the virtual console but again without an SD slot to save your downloads, this doesn’t really matter anyways.

First Last of US DLC Pack and new Update released in concert and PS4 Ad blitz started on Monday Night Football and Watch Dogs delayed until Spring 2014

The Last of US DLC “Abandon Territories” Map Pack released along with new game Update v1.05

I have enjoyed TLoU Multiplayer component probably waaaay more than one should, to the point where my bodily secretions have biologically melded with my gaming chair and created a gamer chair-human hybrid. Anyways, this just gives me more of an excuse to keep playing multiplayer and I sincerely regret not having the $10 it costs for this Map Pack or purchasing the Season Pass which includes all Multiplayer and single player DLC releases, present and future. This map pack includes four awesome new maps: Bookstore, Bus Depot, Suburbs and Hometown. Here’s the YouTube video that showcases each map better than I could ever describe it in words:

To go along with the recent DLC release is the v1.05 update that includes an ocean of fixes, multiplayer escalation balancing, interrogation mode changes and even a few single player updates thrown in for good measure. Here’s the complete list of fixes, updates and so on:

GAMEPLAY:

  • Fixed an issue where players on the winning team would occasionally get fully crafted items or machetes from caches, while players on the losing team would get incorrect items.
  • Players should no longer get comeback weapons (pre-crafted molotovs / bombs / purchase weapons) when they are winning by more than a small margin.
  • Fixed the consistency of comeback weapons spawning – there should be less comeback weapons in close matches and more consistent spawning in severely unbalanced matches. Once a player receives comeback weapons, however, they will not receive them again until a certain amount of progress has occurred in the match.
  • 2×4 Spawning logic has been adjusted in Supply Raid and Interrogation:
  • Fixed a bug where it would occasionally be impossible for a player to receive a 2×4 in a game.
  • Reworked the initial 2×4 spawning logic to make the first 2×4 spawn a bit later to balance the escalation of the match.
  • Lowered the overall number of potential 2x4s that could spawn in a match by including weighting based on match progress.
  • The additional hit on modded melee weapons has been moved from Brawler Level 1 to Level 2, and the health gain from melee hits moved from Level 2 to 1.
  • Added a Parts bonus for late joiners, based on when you join a match in progress. This bridges the gap between players who started from the beginning of the game and might have a Parts advantage over the late joiner.
  • When late-joining beyond the first 2 minutes that match will no longer count towards any clan progress or missions.
  • Fixed an issue on Checkpoint and Lakeside that had locations where some items could not be picked up.
  • Made a fix to prevent players from being able to climb the tilted flag pole on the High School map.
  • Fixed an issue with level graphics dropping out on The Dam.

INTERROGATION MODE:

  • Games no longer end in ties unless both teams are on the same section of the unlocking process. If one team has more interrogations than the other, that team will win the match.
  • The additional parts bonus for winning by a large margin is only awarded when the lockbox is fully unlocked. Otherwise only the standard win bonus is awarded.
  • Killcard now correctly describes whether your character was executed or interrogated.
  • Fire on the ground (from a Molotov) now damages the player when they attempt to unlock the lockbox and will properly interrupt the unlock process.
  • Sounds have been added to the Interrogation animation.
  • Fixed a bug where the end-of-match music was not playing in Interrogation mode.

TECHNICAL FIXES:

  • Intro speech should no longer occasionally be heard twice at the start of the game.
  • A flashing exclamation mark will be shown on DLC option for when new items are added.

SINGLE PLAYER:

  • Tweaks to a couple of art assets in the game.

Sony debuts PS4 Advert during Monday Night Football

To remind all you broke-ass gamers and spoiled-ass young gamers who just have to scream into their parents ears the word “want” to get one that the PS4 is seriously like less then 30 days from arrival, here’s a commercial I’m sure we will all be seeing a lot more of over the next several weeks that will painfully remind us all how much we “want” it:

The commercial features two male opponents dueling out in various different gaming themes while singing to Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”. The first theme revolves around a hack-n-slash, RPG type of environment while the other two make quite clear what games they are referencing. The second theme is analogous to developer Evolution’s first-party launch title Driveclub while the third theme is a clear, not so subtle reference to Killzone Shadow Fall. So far, Microsoft’s marketing has yet to really pander to the hardcore gamer as Sony has pushed for, but MS still has over a month to release adverts that aren’t related to watching the NFL on various devices including the Xbox One.

 

Ubisoft fesses up to delaying multi-platform behemoth Watch Dogs until Spring of 2014

 

Ubisoft has come clean and let it’s fanbase know that their multi-platform release of Watch Dogs, which is coming out for both current gen and next-gen platforms needs further polish, according to Ubisoft. They did the exact same thing with Rayman Legends, which originally was scheduled to be a Wii U exclusive and switched to multi-platform during the course of the “polish” development phase and the game was all the better for it. However, this scenario is quite different, seeing how Watch Dogs is scheduled to be released for every conceivable gaming platform that exists on mother earth. Perhaps Ubisoft realized they already had their work cut out for them with Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag which also hits every conceivable gaming platform this fall, including next-gen giants PS4 and Xbox One and decided they needed a little more personal time before Watch Dogs went gold. I don’t blame them, in fact I implore Ubisoft for it. Typically when a high-profile, hyped game is delayed it’s for good reason; to make something that the developer feels is already quite good, then take the time to refine it further, adding new features and trimming the fat that wasn’t necessary. Here’s hoping, at least.